SCDOT Video Highlights Bridge Maintenance Work

The latest “Day in the Life” video issued by the South Carolina Department of Transportation profiles Edmond “Ed” Garner (above) and his work for the agency as a specialty bridge maintenance foreman.

[Above photo by SCDOT]

“I applied for a job here in June of 1974, and here I am now,” Garner explained in the video. “I’m responsible for the bridge maintenance in eight counties – the whole of [SCDOT] District Five. My job is to set everything up and try to plan in advance, so daily activities don’t get too interrupted.”

“Every job is different, even though we do the same process to get a job done,” Garner said. “But every job site has a different feature; that’s something that’s challenging. How much water it is or where the water runs; whether we have to shift the bridge one way or the other. It’s a challenging thing, as well as being ready for anything that could go wrong.”

There is also a lot of preparatory work when it comes to bridge work, he pointed out: removing guardrails and trees, on occasion, in order to allow boom cranes to access a work site and room to safely operate.

The SCDOT has produced several videos about the bridge work its teams perform – and the sometimes dangerous operating conditions of such work.

In a September 2023 video, Bridge Inspection Supervisor Spencer Cox – who is responsible for inland and coastal bridges in SCDOT’s District Five as well – noted that that working in and around water means he and his crews often encounter dangerous wildlife in the course of their duties.

“Being down around the edges of the water, you are dealing with snakes,” he pointed out. “Alligators are a little different situation. If we see an alligator in the water, we will go back to the bridge another day when it is a little cooler and they are not as active. Alligators don’t bother you too bad, but just knowing they are there makes you uneasy when you are in the water.”

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